Dunsyston Woodland is a forestry plantation north west of Roughrigg Reservoir. Planting of trees began here some years back, and a network of paths has been laid down. It’s a nice area for a walk, the trees provide shelter and a habitat for deer and foxes amongst others. There is a parking spot east of Easter Dunsyston Farm, next to an access gate at NS 80268 64141.
From here you have access to a great path network, some gravel, some trodden, which give a variety of options for circular walks. It’s also popular with horse riders, and is a handy area for mountain biking, it’s not too severe, but you should be aware that it can be fairly popular with dog walkers..
Leaving the car park the path heads north west along the edge of a railway cutting. It’s not too far before you pass what remains of a bridge which crossed the old line here. At the time of my most recent visit it was fenced off, the bridge timbers having rotted to the extent they were crumbling. I imagine it will soon disappear for ever. The path splits three ways here, with one heading north west and downhill, and that’s the path I’m taking today.
After a few hundred metres the path then swings round to the north, through the conifer plantation to meet a track, one of the proposed core paths.
Just to the left is the road, instead I turn right, uphill. This track leads to Roughrigg Reservoir and can be followed to make a longer circular walk. The trees have been roughly butchered here, both sides of the path are littered with the cut off branches.
On the left of the path there is a thin strip of Scots Pine, a refreshing change from the lines of conifers on the other side of the track. As the path levels off at the top of the hill there is a gate and a clearing runs downhill from it. I headed down a trodden path, and was shortly at a large clearing, joining another path, orientated roughly east/west. Heading east will take you to the track to Roughrigg Reservoir. I head west, and within a few minutes I’m at the dilapidated bridge, and before I know it I’m back at the car.
There are numerous options for long or short circular walks here, it’s worth spending a few hours here getting to know them, and seeing if you can spot the remains of the old mine buildings here and there.